Photo courtesy of San Sebastián Turismo & Convention Bureau


Top 10 things to do in San Sebastian 2019


On your next vacation in Spain why not tour the spectacular city of San Sebastian, renowned as the best city to eat in Spain, if not the world and also known as the wonderful “beach in the city”. The city of San Sebastian spreads around the famous La Concha beach, whilst inland are the beautiful green mountain landscapes of Guipuzcoa of which San Sebastian is the provincial capital. Although tapas were invented in Andalucia they became perfected in San Sebastian and here are known as pintxos, so why not come and experience the best of San Sebastian with us on your private Northern Spain food & wine tour


1) La Concha Beach

Capturing almost every imagination of how a spectacular city beach should be, La Concha is a perfect mixture of soft, turquoise waters, peace and quiet and has a few great places to eat nearby. The extensive gorgeous bay is just five minutes’ walk from the vibrant center of Parte Vieja, the port area and from the cathedral quarter. La Concha is the most beautiful of Donostia´s three beaches (the others are Ondarreta and Gros) but if you get a chance visit them all. Make sure you also at least experience one stunning pink and orange sunset one evening, you won´t be disappointed!

2) Parte Vieja

Between the two spectacular beaches you will find the beating heart of the city, the “Old Town” of San Sebastian. Explore the unique romantic corners, take in the vibrant atmosphere, wander by foot to the numerous, creative pintxos bars an experience the city’s history. Spanish tradition suggests having one or two pintxos and a wine in one bar and move on to the next. For sure you will try a glass (or two…) of the best local Txakoli wine! Surrounded by narrow streets this charming old town is a pleasure given the architecture, quaint shops, bakeries, churches and local food markets. There are so many delicious places to try that it is almost impossible to choose!

3) Monte Urgull

Hike up the winding stone paths of Monte Urgull for a picturesque journey with stunning views, a great way to walk off all the delicious San Sebastian food! Along the way you will be surrounded by gorgeous flowers and lushes greenery, with many fascinating historical notes en route. At the top you will enjoy a bird’s eye view of La Concha beach, the city’s old quarter and a tall statue of Christ blessing San Sebastian, standing at the highest point. On your way back down why not go via the backside of the hill if you are interested in seeing the cemetery of the British soldiers, fortifications and cannons.

4) Buen Pastor Cathedral

San Sebastian’s largest church has a stunning Neo-Gothic sandstone exterior that is hard to miss; no matter where you are in the old town you can always find your way from this spectacular, tall structure. Make sure you have your camera in hand as the view of the cathedral from the narrow streets makes for a great photo opportunity! Although the cathedral seems like it could be from the medieval times, the Gothic revival structure actually dates back to 1897. The stone interior is complete with beautiful stained glass windows representing the 12 apostles and the sacred hearts of both Jesus and Mary, best viewed during the brighter hours for full magnificence. Once you leave make sure you try the delicious ice cream shop just outside.

5) San Telmo Museoa

If you love history and culture then visit one of the best and oldest museums in the Basque County, which showcases a thought-provoking collection from prehistoric times to today’s modernity. Featuring over 26,000 historic artifacts you will surely be fascinated by a mix of Gothic, contemporary and renaissance creations providing an intriguing insight into Spanish history. Exhibitions are featured across a restored Dominican convent dating back to the sixteenth century, and an incredible modern newer division, that blends into the natural sounding backdrop of Mount Urgull.

6) Mercado de la Bretxa

Traditional food markets such as La Bretxa and San Martin are where many of the famous local chefs personally select their produce from, within the hustle and bustle of industrial style warehouses. Whilst visiting new places it is always fun to experience the local foodie stalls, you will find a large array of typical, local and good quality Spanish food, a must see for food lovers! Expect to see the likes of the freshest fruit and vegetables, a unique display of sea life, deli meats, cheeses, olives, and of course the typical Txakoli wine. The traditional markets are always kept clean, the produce is very affordable and all the stall operators are very friendly and helpful.

7) Monte Igueldo

On the other side of San Sebastian you will spot Mount Igueldo which has one of the best viewpoints over the beautiful Conaha bay, and if you’re lucky, the coast of France on a fine day! The best way to get to the top is by using the funicular railway, which has been operating since 1912 and is the oldest in the Basque Country, alternatively you can drive or walk up the hill depending how you are feeling in the moment. Once you reach the top there is a hotel with a nice terrace, bars to have a snack or drink and a vintage amusement park for the kid. Marvell at the incredible views, relax and enjoy!

8) Santa Clara Island

For something a little different in the hot summer months why not cool down at the remote, uninhabited island of Santa Clara. Whether you only have just a few hours on your hands, or a whole day, it is still worth visiting this relaxing haven, via the water taxi that runs every 30 minutes. Unwind from the busy city, swim under the warm summer rays and take in nature. Why not walk to the top of the island, it is a steady incline but you can still easily reach the top to the lighthouse, with minimal effort. There is also a small seasonal restaurant on the island which is well known for its Paella if you fancy lunch, alternatively, prepare a picnic as there are numerous benches and tables throughout the island.

9) Aquarium

For something unique why not visit the great collection of sea creatures and amazing fish, fantastically displayed in San Sebastian’s Aquarium, there is something for everyone! The visit begins with local maritime culture where you view and learn about the history of ancient boat, artifacts and other marine exhibits. Next, you will surely be amazed with the variations for sea life from sharks, stingrays, sardines, jelly fish to beautiful corals in the extensive, cinema sized aquarium. If you want to see the feeding session make sure you visit around lunchtime.

10) Miramar Palace

Take a break away from the hustle and bustle of this vibrant city and head on a short walk to the nineteenth century English summer palace used by Isabella II. This picturesque place is the perfect spot for a picnic or quiet retreat, taking in the stunning views of the coastline. Bath in the warmth of the sun on the luscious lawn or sit on the benches and make sure to stop and read the small signs around, to learn about the history and palace itself. Unfortunately don´t expect to enter the old summer resident as usually it is closed, neither less the exterior is gorgeous and is surrounded with beautiful formal gardens.


With our charismatic officially licensed San Sebastian guide you will be able to see these Top 10 places and much more as part of your private Gourmet & Cultural Basque Country Tour. Feel free to browse our website and get inspired!




Explore the riverside picturesque city of Porto with our charismatic guide, loved by all our clients.  Porto is an intrinsic part of our best selling private Best of Portugal Tour – just let us know when you d like to come and we will create a perfect Portuguese vacation for you!


  • Porto is Portugal’s second largest city, after Lisbon, and is an important Atlantic port.


  • Porto is located in Northern Portugal on the Douro river estuary and follows the river up until it reaches the Atlantic Ocean.


  • Typical Portuguese blue and white azulejos tiles decorate everything from churches and monasteries to palaces, houses and train stations.


  • In Portuguese the name of the city is spelled “o Porto“ (with a definite article) which translates into English as ‘the port’. 


  • The English name of the city, Oporto,  evolved from a misinterpretation of the Portuguese oral pronunciation.


  • The Latin name for Porto is Portus Cale from which the country, Portugal, takes it´s name.


  • Porto’s most famous export is Port Wine, to which the city gives its name.


  • Porto is one of the oldest European cities, and was registered as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996, for its historic buildings and outstanding monuments.


  • The first evidence of settlers emerged in the 8th century B.C., situated near the present Morro da Sé. This ancient village is known as Cividade, but unfortunately any traces left of this area were demolished in 1940.


  • One of the most traditional dishes of Porto is the ‘Tripas à Moda do Porto”. In the 15thcentury, the people of Porto gave a great quantity of meat to the military forces, keeping only tripe. This is the reason why the people of Porto are called ‘Tripeiros’.


  • In 1807 Porto suffered a violent invasion by Napoleon’s troops but, with the help of the British, the city banished the general. In 1809 Napoleon invaded Porto again and during these invasions the terrible Bridge of Barques disaster took place, resulting in the loss of hundreds of panic-stricken people trying to escape from French soldiers, drowning in the Douro.


  • The most striking landmark of Porto is the Torre dos Clérigos (1754-1763), a baroque tower.


  • Other highlights of Porto include the formidable 12thcentury Sé cathedral, the two-storied Dom Luis Bridge (1881-1887), the Crystal Palace (1865), the Serralves Museum of Contempory Art (1999) and the prominent Port wine lodges dominating the hillside of Vila Nova de Gaia.


Come and visit Porto and Portugal on one of our private Portuguese Culture, Food and Wine Tours to see the wonderful historic treasures and fascinating culture of this country, taste port wine, local foods and much, much more!

Best Wineries in Alentejo, Portugal 2019

On your Portuguese wine and culture tour with us you will surely enjoy the visit to the tiny village of Igrejinha in Alentejo wine region, where the Herdade dos Coelheiros wine estate is run by the effervescent Teresa Leal. This estate not only produces wines, but also walnuts and cork trees.  The area is known for the world renowned typical Portuguese craft – the most beautiful carpets of Arraiolos, nearby, that throughout the years won a status of national symbol, and now they bring their image, tradition and identity to the labels of this fine winery.

Herdade dos Coelheiros estate in Alentejo is a family business founded in 1981, which over the years has won recognition for producing wines of unquestionable quality, both nationally and internationally. It launched its first wine, labelled Tapada dos Coelheiros in 1991.  Since then, their portfolio of wines and other products has gradually grown.   A visit to this fascinating Portuguese wine estate will surely end with a tasting of their best wines including their superb barrel fermented white and the powerful Tapada de Coelheiros Tinto.

Another very fine winery in Alentejo region is Esporao, a very progressive family business which has recently won the hotly contested “Sustainability of the Year” Award in the Drinks Business Green Awards 2013.  The Drinks Business, British magazine and one of the publications most read in Europe, praised Esporão for its holistic approach in adopting a wide range of innovative sustainable practices.

Since it was founded in 1267, the boundaries of Herdade do Esporão have remained virtually unchanged, despite being the stage of bloody battles and heroic deeds over almost nine centuries.

A visit to this impressive Alentejo winery not only includes a tour of the vineyards, wineries and wine cellars, there is also a great opportunity to visit and get to know the historical and cultural heritage of Herdade do Esporão, which dates back to the 15th and 16th centuries.

In the historic and monumental centre of Herdade do Esporão you can visit the Esporão Tower, the Nossa Senhora dos Remédios Chapel (both of which have been classified as Public Interest Properties), and the Esporão Arch.  The chapel, an example of religious medieval architecture, was recently restored, thus making it possible for visitors to see the magnificent frescoes in its chancel.  There is also a Museum in the Esporão Tower where you can admire artefacts from the excavations at the Perdigões Archaeological Complex.

At the end of  your private tour of this winery, you will not only be able to taste some of their fine wines, but also their incredible virgin olive oil, prior perhaps to enjoying a delicious meal of local delicacies in their charming restaurant

Visit these incredible Portuguese wineries and much more on a Luxury Tour of Portugal with Gourmand Breaks!



Strolling the hills of the charming Olde Worlde Lisbon with our charismatic guide as part of your Luxury Lisbon Getaway with us, you will learn, amongst others, the following fun facts about this beautiful city:


  • Lisbon is the Capital City of Portugal.


  • The Vasco da Gama Bridge over the Tagus river in Lisbon is 10.5 miles (17 kilometers) long, making it the longest bridge in Europe.


  • The Tagus is Iberia’s largest river and its estuary at Lisbon, which is up to 14km wide, is thought to be big enough to hold all the warships in the world.


  • The world record for the largest dining table was set when some 15,000 people were served lunch on the Vasco da Gama bridge as part of the inauguration celebrations. Construction began in 1995 and the bridge was opened to traffic in 1998.


  • Lisbon was struck by an immense earthquake (approx.  9.0 magnitude) on the 1st of November, 1755.  It was followed by a tsunami and fires that brought the city to rubble. The tremors were felt as far away as Scotland and Norway!


  • The Alfama area of Lisbon is the city’s oldest district and was the only area of Lisbon to survive, relatively unscathed, in the 1755 earthquake.


  • Fado (fatein Portuguese) is a music genre that originates in urban Lisbon. It’s a type of mournful and heart-touching folk music sung by the common people. The music genre was recently added to the World’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list.


  • Lisbon’s trams were originally called “americanos” and the first operational route was inaugurated on 17th November 1873.


  • Lisbon is also known as “the town of seven hills”. The seven hills comprise of: Castelo, Graca, Monte, Penha de Franca, S.Pedro de Alcantara, Santa Catarina and Estrela.


  • Lisbon Moorish castle, now called São Jorge (St. George) was built in honor of the English alliance of 1386.


  • ‘Sport Lisboa e Benfica’ or simply, Benfica, holds the Guinness World record, since 2006, for the most widely supported football club in the World.


  • The Santa Engrácia church is in the Guinness Book of Records for being the church that took the longest time to construct. It started in the 17th century and ended with the last dome being completed in 1966.


Visit Lisbon and Portugal on one of our private Portuguese Culture, Food and Wine Tours to see the wonderful historic treasures and fascinating culture of this country, taste port wine, local foods and much, much more!

20181231_150715The quaint, historic city of Faro is a great place to stop by to discover lessor known, local gems, without there being too many tourists. Faro has an up-and-coming feel hence is an amazing place to take advantage of, yet at the same time, with a more relaxed feel, than the bigger cities further north. If you have time spare or alternatively want to add an extra day to your luxury Purely Portugal trip, make sure to stop in Faro and enjoy the quieter Portuguese beauty on offer, you won’t be disappointed!

There is no shortage of fascinating, historical influences that can still be seen today. From the likes of the Moorish influences on the 17th Century stone wall entrance, which still partly encloses the city (Muralhas de Faro) through to the Gothic Cathedral which was constructed on ancient Roman ruins (this, amazingly, was previously a mosque), you will blown away by the history of this small city. It is also worth going up the tower in the Cathedral to see a bird’s eye view over the beautiful region.

The old town (Vila Adentro) is easy to get around by foot and is filled with characteristic buildings, cobbled streets, a typical Portuguese food market (Mercado Municipal de Faro), delicious local restaurants and boutique shops. It is easy to feel somewhat like a local in Faro’s  friendly and welcoming city, it seems that some tourists don’t realise what this unique place has to offer.

Sampling the local cuisine is a must do, there are some beautifully simplistic dishes that will tantalize your taste buds. The local food doesn’t come much fresher than succulent grilled sardines, clams and cockles in garlic olive oil, for example, or piri piri chicken. Last but not least, you can’t miss the mouthwatering sweet treat; Pastel de Nata (best served hot) which can be found in typical Portuguese bakeries, often appearing in street windows.

Faro also has an intriguing artistic and archeological history which can be seen in the beautiful Municipal Museum, a former convent. Here, you will witness the Roman influence in the first room through to the Latin in the second, and lastly Islamic in the last, taking you back deep in history to the diverse cultures and styles. It is a beautiful building not far which is worth a visit.

Another ‘not to be missed’ gem is the tranquil beach called Ilha Deserta, a perfect way to un-wind and escape the heat for a dip in the transparent waters.  A short boat ride from the old town will get you to the golden sanded beach, an incredible seven kilometers long, you will be sure to find a perfect spot! If you love gorgeous beaches and serenity, then this is a must visit.

For more information and inspiration regarding luxury tours in Portugal visit Purely Portugal




Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2019
Bon Nadal i Feliç Any Nou 2019
Feliz Navidad y Prospero Año Nuevo 2019
Feliz Natal e Feliz Ano Novo 2019

With warmest regards and “Cheers!” from the sunny Mediterranean,

Ursula, Joanne, Kirstie, Juan & the Gourmand Breaks Team

and don’t forget, if a Private Tour of Spain, Portugal and/or SW France for 2019 (or further afield) is on your Christmas list we’ve got lots of options over on our Gourmand Breaks Website

Michelin Guide to Spain & Portugal 2019 RESULTS ARE IN:

The 2019 Michelin Guide to Spain & Portugal has now been presented and spoiler alert: There’s a NEW Michelin 3* !!!!!
The gastronomic Oscars festival was presented this evening LIVE from Lisbon – Portugal – at the Carlos Lopes pavilion, under the culinary coordination of two Michelin-starred Belcanto chef, José Avillez.

This is the first time ever that the Michelin Guide to Spain & Portugal has been presented from Portugal but … Oh what a night!!!! A night that has left Michelin stars raining down all over Spain and Portugal!

This year a whopping 30 NEW Michelin Stars were awarded between Spain and Portugal!


1 NEW Michelin 3* Restaurant  – awarded to Dani Garcia 


*** ALL  11 Michelin 3* Restaurants in the 2019 Michelin Guide to Spain & Portugal

NEW: Dani Garcia, Dani Garcia (Malaga)

ABaC, Jordi Cruz (Barcelona)

Aponiente, Angel Leon (El Puerto de Santa María, Cádiz)

Akelarre, Pedro Subijana (Guipúzcoa)

Arzak, Juan Mari and Elena Arzak (Guipúzcoa)

Azurmendi, Eneko Atxa (Larrabetzu, Vizcaya)

Diverxo, David Muñoz (Madrid)

El Celler de Can Roca, Joan Roca (Girona)

Lasarte, Martin Berasategui (Barcelona)

Martín Berasategui, Martín Berasategui (Guipúzcoa)

Quique Dacosta, Quique Dacosta (Dénia, Alicante)


But, apart from 1 NEW Michelin 3 Starred Restaurant, for the Michelin Guide for Spain and Portugal 2019 there are:


4 NEW Michelin 2* Restaurants Spain and Portugal 2019:

  • Cocina Hermanos Torres  (Barcelona)
  • Ricard Camarena Restaurant  (Valencia)
  • El Molino de Urdániz  (Urdaitz, Navarra).
  • Alma (Lisboa)


and 25 NEW 1* Michelin 1* Restaurants Spain and Portugal 2019:

  • La Barra de Carles Abellán (Barcelona)
  • Oria (Barcelona)
  • Eneko Bilbao (Bilbao)
  • Etxanobe Ateliar (Bilbao)
  • Beat (Calpe, Alicante)
  • Orobianco (Calpe, Alicante)
  • Trivio (Cuenca)
  • eMe Be Garrote (San Sebastián)
  • Bagá (Jaén)
  • LÚ Cocina y Alma (Jerez de la Frontera, Cádiz)
  • Pablo (León)
  • Ikaro (Logroño)
  • Clos Madrid (Madrid)
  • Corral de la Moreira Gastronómico (Madrid)
  • El Invernadero (Madrid)
  • La Tasquería (Madrid)
  • Yugo (Madrid)
  • El Xato (La Nucía, Alicante)
  • Terra (S’Agaró, Alicante)
  • A Tafona (Santiago de Compostela)
  • El Molino de Alcuneza (Sigüenza, Guadalajara)
  • Cancook (Zaragoza)
  • G Pousada de Bragança (Tras os Montes)
  • A Cozinha de Guimaraes (Minho)
  • Midori de Sinra (Estremadura)


Congratulations to all our wonderful Michelin Star Chefs in Spain and Portugal !


The 2019 Michelin Guide to Spain & Portugal will be presented on November 21st, LIVE from Lisbon – Portugal. (more info.)

We’ll bring you the 2019 Michelin Guide to Spain & Portugal RESULTS next week but one thing that we already do know is that Spain has lost a Michelin 3* Restaurant!!!!

Carme Ruscalleda elegantly closed her Michelin three star restaurant Sant Pau, near Barcelona, on October 27th 2018 after 30 years of success.

Sant Pau, situated in the coastal town of Sant Pol de Mar, was awarded the first of its coveted Michelin  stars in 1991, the second five years later and since 2006 maintained its Michelin 3* status.

Sant Pau closed on a high but world-class Catalan chef Carme Ruscalleda is not hanging her apron up just yet.  Along with some interesting projects in the pipeline her other two restaurants, Michelin 2* Sant Pau in Tokyo and Michelin 2* restaurant Moments in Barcelona, led by her son Raül, remain open.

Could another Michelin 3* restaurant appear in the 2019 Michelin Guide to Spain & Portugal to substitute Sant Pau ???  There are 30 Michelin 2* Restaurants in Spain and Portugal (25 in Spain/ 5 in Portugal) so there are a few contenders!

What’s more, the 2019 Michelin Guide to Spain & Portugal is being presented, for the first time ever, from Lisbon!!! Could this mean that a Michelin 3* restaurant is on the cards for Portugal?????  We hope so … here are the 5 current Michelin 2* starred restaurants in Portugal possibilities:

  • Vila Joya (Albufeira, Algarve)
  • Ocean (Armaçao de Pêra, Algarve)
  • Belcanto (Lisbon)
  • Il Gallo d´Oro (Funchal, Madeira)
  • The Yeatman (Vila Nova de Gaia, Porto)


Remember we’ll bring you the RESULTS Live next week but in the meantime here’s a recap of the current 11 Michelin 3* Restaurants in Spain 2018 (none, to date, in Portugal):

  • ABaC, Jordi Cruz (Barcelona)
  • Aponiente, Angel Leon (El Puerto de Santa María, Cádiz)
  • Akelarre, Pedro Subijana (Guipúzcoa)
  • Arzak, Juan Mari and Elena Arzak (Guipúzcoa)
  • Azurmendi, Eneko Atxa (Larrabetzu, Vizcaya)
  • Diverxo, David Muñoz (Madrid)
  • El Celler de Can Roca, Joan Roca (Girona)
  • Lasarte, Martin Berasategui (Barcelona)
  • Martín Berasategui, Martín Berasategui (Guipúzcoa)
  • Quique Dacosta, Quique Dacosta (Dénia, Alicante)
  • Sant Pau, Carme Ruscalleda (Barcelona) – CLOSED IN October 2018


Heres’s  a COMPLETE full list of all CURRENT Michelin 3, 2 and 1 Starred Restaurants in Spain and Portugal for 2018 


Experience Michelin starred Restaurant dining opportunities in Spain and Portugal on one of our Private Food, Wine and Cultural Tours. Contact us to custom build your ideal trip!

The kitchens in Spain and Portugal are heating up as next week the 2019 Michelin Guide to Spain & Portugal will be presented, and for the first time in history, LIVE from Lisbon, Portugal!

Over the last nine years, Madrid, San Sebastian, Barcelona, Bilbao, Marbella, Santiago de Compostela, Gerona and Tenerife have all played host to the prestigious Michelin Guide to Spain and Portugal gala. But, this year, for the first ever, the gala will be held in Lisbon.

This year’s gala meal will be prepared by Lisbon’s seven Michelin-star chefs.  José Avillez, head of Michelin 2* Belcanto in Lisbon will coordinate the meal and be joined by Michelin 1* Lisbon Restaurant Chefs Henrique Sá Pessoa from Alma, Joachim Koerper from Eleven, João Rodrigues from Feitoria,  Alexandre Silva from Loco, Miguel Rocha Vieira from Fortaleza do Guincho (in Cascais) and Spanish chef Sergi Arola from Lab by Sergi Arola in Sintra.

Curiously, Portugal holds no Michelin 3 starred restaurant to date and actually holds very few Michelin stars compared with its Iberian cousin Spain who currently boasts 11 Michelin 3 starred restaurants (although 1 has recently closed!).

Could Portugal hosting the NEW Michelin Restaurant Guide mean we will be seeing the 1st Michelin 3* Restaurant in Portugal for the 2019 Michelin Guide to Spain & Portugal?????? We’ll let you know next week …

There are currently 30 Michelin 2* Restaurants in Spain and Portugal 2018 … only 5 of which are Michelin 2* Restaurants in Portugal:  Belcanto (Lisbon), Ocean (Porches, Algarve), Vila Joya (Albufeira, Algarve), Il Gallo d’Oro, (Funchal) and TheYeatman (Vila Nova de Gaia, Porto).

Could one (or more) of Portugal’s Michelin 2* Restaurants be gaining that 3rd Michelin star  for the 2019 Michelin Guide to Spain & Portugal to finally give  Portugal  a Michelin Three Starred Restaurant? We’ll let you know next week …

There are currently 177 Michelin 1* Restaurants Spain and Portugal 2018 … of which, only 18 are in Portugal.

Hopes are high for a star studded night for both Spain and Portugal next week and for some surprises for the great Portuguese chefs to take the current 23 Michelin Starred Restaurants to an even greater number.

We’ll keep you updated on all the results next Wednesday 21st of November 2018, in the meantime happy dining :-)

In the meantime here’s a LINK to the COMPLETE full list of all CURRENT Michelin Starred Restaurants in Spain and Portugal

Good luck chefs !!!!!!


Michelin 2019

We, Gourmand Breaks,  have many fine dining opportunities for you all over Spain and / or Portugal.  Any of our sample private Gourmand Breaks Private Food, Wine and Cultural Tours gives you the chance of fine dining – contact us for your custom-designed quote!

The Dream of Pôpa:

Once upon a time a local named Francisco Ferreira, had a dream, he wanted to own his very own vineyard in the picturesque Douro Valley. Francisco, nicknamed Pôpa, was the illegitimate son of a wealthy winemaker, although his veins too, were filled with the wine and soil of the Douro. Pôpa worked hard and helped his mother on his father’s vineyard by carrying grape filled baskets to the old lagares (wine presses).  Pôpa was a simple soul and lived in sadness, hoping that one day his father would recognise him as his child.  All the while Francisco dreamed of owning his own estate and producing his own wine, a dream he unfortunately never managed to fulfil in life.

Fulfilling the Dream Generations Later:

In 2003, however, his son, José Ferreira, also known as Zeca do Pôpa, fulfilled the dream of his father, a dream that had also been passed on to him. He started to put together smallholdings, common in the agricultural structure of northern Portugal, and acquire small plots of mostly old vineyards, as well as planting new vines and olive groves. The vines planted on the terraced hills above the magnificent Douro River, were blessed with a favourable climate and a high quality soil.

As time passed a true vineyard was formedin one of the best and oldest wine region in the world. José named the vineyard in honour of his father, Quinta do Pôpa! Built with both great economic effort and enthusiasm, the first harvest took place in 2007. Today, Francisco’s grandchildren, Stéphane and Vanessa Ferreira, head the team at Quinta do Pôpa, keeping the wheels turning with enthusiasm, charisma and commitment to produce signature wines in the family name.

The estate now occupies 30 hectares of land, 14 of which are vineyards. Both sophisticated techniques and traditional methods are used, and despite the small number of years that Quinta do Pôpa has been active; this young estate has now established itself as a quality winemaker! A fascinating history, warm welcome, fantastic views and great wines await you at Quinta do Pôpa! We will be delighted to include a visit to Quinta do Pôpa for you in your private tour or in any of our sample itineraries that take in the beautiful Douro Valley, Portugal.

Special Edition Products to Delight your Senses:

QUINTA DO PÔPA HOMENAGEM: The tribute of tributes, named in honor of Francisco Ferreira! This powerful and robust red demonstrates good structure and complexity.

PÔPA TINTO DOCE:  The 1st Sweet Red Wine from the Douro which is a tribute to the women of the Pôpa Family.

PÔPA VV:  Made exclusively out of the old vines, aged over 80 years, and trodden by foot, this complex red wine is simply called VV, for Vinhas Velhas (old vines).